Join us for the launch of Yesenia Montilla’s Muse Found in a Colonized Body at Word Up with special guests Aracelis Girmay, Roberto Carlos Garcia, Sheila Maldonado, and Kathy Engel.
This event is a $5 suggested donation ticket with 30 max attendees. Please register in advance. This event is limited to 30 people max.
In compliance with Word Up Community Safety guidelines, all attendees for this event must show proof of vaccination and and must remain masked at all times. Please arrive at least 30 minutes before the event so we can check vaccination cards and ID.
Word Up Community Bookshop is located at 2113 Amsterdam Ave. (& 165th St.) in Washington Heights, NYC. You can take the 1 train to 168th St and the A/C train to 163rd or 168th St.
In the book's eponymous poem, Yesenia Montilla writes, “How do you not love yourself when you / constantly survive your undoing just by being precious?" Muse Found in a Colonized Body answers this rhetorical question by populating itself with poems that range far and wide in content — observing pop culture, interrogating history, resisting contemporary injustice — but that share the spinal cord of unflinching love. As Rachel Eliza Griffiths notes, Montilla’s “powers orbit and intuit the lives of Philando Castile, Captain America, Christian Cooper, Karl Marx, Ahmaud Arbery, Eartha Kitt, and many more while stitching our wounded identities, memories, and histories in defiant poems of revision and joyous reclamation.” The vertebral odes of this collection at turns uplift desire, affirm life, celebrate protest, and condemn the violent greed of imperial usurpation that has produced the U.S. as we know it. Both in its criticism and its admiration, Muse Found in a Colonized Body calls upon its readers to rise to the occasion of these lyrics’ profound care.
Yesenia Montilla is an Afro-Latina poet & a daughter of immigrants. She received her MFA from Drew University in Poetry & Poetry in translation. She is CantoMundo graduate fellow and a 2020 New York Foundation for the Arts fellow. Her work has been published in Academy of American Poets Poem-a-Day, Prairie Schooner, Gulf Coast and in Best of American Poetry. Her first collection The Pink Box is published by Willow Books & was longlisted for a PEN award. Her second collection Muse Found in a Colonized Body is forthcoming from Four Way Books, 2022. She lives in Harlem, NY. Find her at www.yeseniamontilla.com
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